"You can do anything, but lay off of my blue suede shoes" --Carl Perkins

Friday, October 28, 2005

Where Were You?

Where were all of the others last night? Where was Sharon Cobb, TheoGeo, and Katherine Coble. Where was Kleinheider, Abramson, Kerry Wong, S-Town Mike, Tman, Glen Dean, and Fritz? For the love of Borgnine! Where in the hell were the Caminos? Too busy playing grab-ass, I'll wager. ...and don't give me any of that Murfreesboro crap, son. I dragged my cold tired family all the way from Fairview to be there last night. I did. Ask Aunt B.

Who was there? Oh, just about everyone else that's all. So many, that I wasn't able to make my rounds to all of them, and of those I could, I wasn't able to say everything I wanted to. So maybe now I will? Yes. Indeed. Now is the perfect time to say all of the things I didn't have time to say last night.


Chris Wage,
Dude, I was taken aback when you said your name was Chris. For some reason, I thought you were a different Chris. I tend to get disoriented easily in crowds, or it could have been the Guiness. But, it wasn't until the ride home that I realized that you were the Chris Wage of My Quiet Life fame. If I had realized it earlier, I would have told you how much I dig your style and political arguments. I daily enjoy sitting back and watching you take some absolutist's reactionary comment to the mats. I'll sometimes chime in from time to time to sneak in a cheap shot on your already weakened opponent. Yes, good times. Glad to have finally met you, now that I realize that I did.

Aunt B.,
You are the coolest, my dear. Su mind es mi mind. We es muy simpatico. I knew we'd hit it off before I got there. BTW... I interupted you last night on your idea to manage Sarcastro's political career. I've thought it over. Yeah, I'd totally do it. Fuck the ADD bullshit.

Two things:
1) Run for office. Clean fucking house. I'll help.
2) Found my ticket # in my book. I was "#263 in line to Make Love!* *the bruce campbell way".

Mr. Roboto and Rex Hammock,
Thank You!

Calling All Cars... Calling All Cars...

...Be on the lookout for one Lewis Libby. May go by the name of "Scooter". Be Aware: Suspect may be armed with yellow cake. ...Scratch that. Rumors of yellow cake where false. Suspect is unarmed. Proceed with extreme predjudice. That is all.

...for now...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Some Much Needed Counter Weight

...not that it'll make any difference, but here's to hoping...

My religious beliefs are my own. I don't share them with you, because they may not be yours. Likewise, I appreciate it when others don't invade my personal space* with theirs. So naturally it goes to follow, that I don’t appreciate it when the government decides to tell me how to behave based on someone else’s personal beliefs. That’s why I was happy to read this today.

No, I’m not an atheist, but I’m plum tickled that they now have at least some representation in our government, one which as of late has been heading too far down the “righteous path” of someone else’s own unique ideology.

Stealing a page out of Aunt B’s style book:
* The exception to this rule, of course, would be when comments are solicited, such as in a blog, etc. So feel free to blast away.

Can You Talk The Talk, Yankee-Boy?

Will you wait to go rolling on Halloween night or go TP'ing on Devil's night this year?

Don't know? Not sure?
Well, it's time to put up or shut up, yankee-boy.

OK. Not really. It's just another silly online quiz.

So, were you Southern enough? Apparently I am: 84%, in fact.

Now where did I put that "No shit?" file...?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Thank You, Mrs. Parks

Thank you for your dream.
Thank you for sharing it with our nation,
Our world.

Thank you for all of the people
I love and cherish in my life,
Of whom I would never have known.
Not without your hope.
Not without your courage.

Thank you for my best friend and fishing buddy, Charles.
Thank you for his beautiful and perfect family.
Thank you for allowing his children to play with mine.

Thank you for Ms. Nikki, my son’s favorite teacher.
Thank you for Sophia, my daughter’s closest friend.
Thank you for Maurice, my favorite running partner.

Thank you for Kenya, Vicki, Jason, Debra, and Toni.
Thank you for Michael, Lashana, Crystal, and Felicia.
Thank you for each of them.

Thank you for them all.

Thank you, Mrs. Parks.
For giving me the opportunity to know your people.
For showing my people how to become yours.
For sharing with us all your gift of Respect.

May we forever return the favor.

Thank you.

Friday, October 14, 2005

my Artificial Drug Dependency

I’ve got issues. Yes, some would even say mental issues. Seriously, I'm not kidding. Go ahead, ask my wife. She’ll agree with that claim. Ask my friends. Ask any one of my past teachers and professors. Ask my shrink. They’ll all tell you that I have ADD, as in America’s favorite head-trip du jour, Attention Deficit Disorder.

What do I think? I think it is complete bullshit. Oh, not the part about having issues. There is little doubt, I’ve got those. Not the least of which include loss of appetite, stress, minor depression, and high blood pressure. All of which, however, were never actually issues before I was diagnosed with ADD; or rather I should say, were never issues before I was subjected to the environmental conditions which forced me to pursue an ADD diagnosis. I will explain.

It is all a matter of perspective. In earlier times the common discourse used to describe my nature might have included adjectives such as enthusiastic, spirited, worldly; and who knows, although I doubt it, maybe even erudite or well-rounded. I was born into this world a jack of all trades and a master of none. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that this is not the most productive personality for the young modern man who wishes do proud by the people he loves and respects.

I grew up under the blindingly brilliant shadow of a giant, my father. My father wasn’t always a giant among men. He came from the nothingness of the poorest of families from the forgotten nowhere of rural Alabama. From that nothing and with no help from his family, he worked and paid his way through college, where he eventually graduated as a pharmacist, but figuring he was still young he went back to school. Soon after, he picked up a PHD in Pharmacology. About this time, his first and only son was born, and he then realized that he had no other choice than to give his boy the best life he could possibly give him. So, my father enrolled into medical school and eventually became a Nephrologist, started his own practice, and built his own dialysis clinic. My father walked away from nothing and never once broke stride nor veered from his intended path. He is and always will be a giant among men.

My mother was different. Where my father, without fail or falter, stayed the stormy course, my mother was sometimes given to spontaneous fits of creativity. She would paint, and garden, and decorate. She was an elementary school English teacher. She was flighty and romantic and graceful. She was the perfect impish foil to my father’s interminable grit.

I am the child of both of these people. From them I inherited the most polar aspects of each of their personalities. From my father I inherited his tenacity while at the same time inheriting my Mother’s impetuousness. Together the traits fused into the strange hybrid behavior pattern, which causes me to hyper-focus on single subjects for extremely short amounts of time. It’s what I do. I engage in a particular notion with obsessive abandon, and this may go on for a day, a month, and one time as long as 2 years. But then one day, I’ll wake up bored, sometimes even sickened by thinking about anything related to my recent obsession. I describe myself as a serial hobbyist. You name the hobby, and I’ve most likely not only looked it up but studied it, engaged in it, and became a practitioner of it. For example, I moved from avid homebrewer, to banjo picker, to triathlete/marathoner, to Mason/Shriner (I shit you not) all in the course of 4 years time. The strange thing is, there was never any overlap in any of it. I picked up the banjo a few days after I got sick of scrubbing beer bottles. I started running a week or two after I learned 3 songs on the banjo. The moment a coworker convinced me to check out the Masons with him, I stopped training for my first Ironman. After Masonry it was on to screenwriting and short filmmaking, then fly fishing, then starting a novel, after that to canoeing, then back to the banjo for a short stint, and now to blogging.

Sure, I’ve got issues. This is strange behavior, I’ll agree, but are these stints into obsession characteristic of a mental disorder or simply the byproducts of an active mind in a world supersaturated with information and points of easy access. Is this ADD or is it curiosity?

Something else I inherited from both my parents is a love of writing. My father was published throughout numbers of both medical and fly fishing journals. My mother taught it. I do it constantly and never grow tired of it. I don’t ever stop thinking about it. It is the pure unrestricted manifestation of imagination, so there is never a journey’s end. There is never a pattern to tack a cliché to. The subject can’t be defined because it can always be rewritten. Because, once the wonder of discovery is gone from a subject, my mind walls itself off from it. With writing this can’t be done, because the subject of writing is as vast as imagination and wonder itself.

But, I was directed away from writing by both my parents. I was told that English, like all pure subjects, was not marketable in the job world, and well, they were probably right. But a person’s ability is his personality, mentality, and attitude; and if it isn’t in his ability to become an astrophysicist, then he probably shouldn’t take a lot of astronomy courses in college. The same goes for someone who is forced to change his major from English to Biology, because his parents think he would fare better in the work place with it rather than English.

Ironically, I ended up with a BA in Anthropology by the time I finally graduated. Strangely enough, I never used any of my college course work to advance in my current career. Somewhere along the way I became a programmer, because I could do it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly the “true calling” my abilities could sink their teeth into. So, I improvised…

Another example believed by many to be indicative of behavior associated with ADD, is one’s inability to sit still and focus on one subject for at least the average length of time that a non-affected individual could endure. Can I do that? Hell yes, if the subject I should be focusing on is the one in which I’m currently and serially engrossed in. Could I have sat at my PC and coded Visual Basic non stop for 60 hrs a day for weeks at a time? Sure could, and I did when I was learning it and excited about programming for the first time ever. Was I able to sit in front of a terminal emulator all day a couple of years later, and stare at a monochromatic screen all day and code COBOL? Fuck no! I’d been there and done that already. Why the hell would I put myself through that kind of torture? Why? Because, I had a wife and a new baby girl to support, because I was now a father, and I had no other option than to take care of my family with only the skills with which I had been trained.

So, I tried. Everyday I would drag into work and sink down in front of that screen, and the letters and numbers would blur, and my mind would drift. So I drank coffee, and then more and more so, which did seem to help, but kept me so jittery that the coffee itself became its own distraction?

Finally I caved. People had been telling me most of my life that I probably had ADD, and that I should go and get “help” for it. I figured that I didn’t have a choice in the matter. My productivity had gone the way of the banjo, and showed no sign of returning. I went to the doctor, took the tests, proved disordered, and was prescribed Adderall XR once day for a month until I die.

Did it help me? Depends… It is all a matter of perspective. It improved my ability to code tenfold, and gave me the focal power of a zombie at a Neurology conference. Now I can sit here and code until either the cows come home or the drug wears off. So yes, it helped my ability to do my job, but it destroyed my creativity. My brain could no longer surge from topic to topic at the light-speed pace needed to write something interesting. It is a total 1 to 1 trade off of personalities. I either keep taking the drug and keep my job, and thereby, keep my family healthy and warm, or stop, and throw everything I’ve built for the past 9 years into the trash and be me.

Why? Why, the fuck, can’t I be who I am and have the life I’ve built, too? Why do I have to take a drug for a “disorder” that only affects my ability to perform certain tasks? Why the fuck, do I have to trade a fulfilling life pursuing something I enjoy for an artificial drug dependency, which raises my blood pressure and causes me to grind my teeth? Why can’t I be me without Adderall? Fuck that bullshit! Fuck that! I can, and I will!

I’ve been working again on my book that I began writing over a year ago. That’s one reason why I haven’t been posting much lately. With a little hard work I’ll finish it, and with all the luck in the world, a miracle wouldn’t hurt, I’ll get it published. Then I’ll start another, and it will get published, and then hopefully, others will follow, and I’ll be able to finally kick the Adderall habit, and then……


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bush Administration to Attack Oregon's Dignity

I know I said that I wouldn't be posting for a while, but damn it, this pissed me off:

U.S. Supreme Court to Review Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, October 5th, 2005

The Bush Administration petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, formerly titled Ashcroft v Oregon, and now titled, Gonzales v Oregon, and the Court granted certiorari.

Are there no limits to this administration's megalomanic need to micromanage its citizens?

I guess we'll see if Roberts can make his appointer proud...

Update: Finally, some news agencies are starting to report on it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My Apologies

I do apologize, Dear Readers.

As of late, the real world has taken to shoving its ugly fat snout back into my own personal brand of reality. And frankly, there is little I can do about it but confront it. I do have to bring home the bacon, afterall.

In other words: I have been crazy busy at work, and this has been affecting my blogging productivity.

Sad, I know, but we must all be strong during these lean times. Take comfort, dear readers that I have not forgotten thee, that yea, this too shall pass. I mean, what the hell else am I going to do when things slow down again.

So, buck up, little buddies. Ol' Huck will be back with bells a-ringin and profanity a-flyin.

Until then, may that great-big-old-bearded-dude-in-the-sky keep the shit from splashing back at your assess.